Spoonbill Paddlefish Fort Gibson Lake – 1/31/16

Spoonbill Paddlefish Fort Gibson Lake in Oklahoma

Round #2 on Fort Gibson Lake in Oklahoma snagging spoonbill paddlefish.  Mike is leading the points race with a 54 pounder yesterday.  I believe Steve kept a 38 pounder and Dale with a 43 pounder.

These guys are a riot to have on the boat.  It’s nonstop laughs as they reel in each fish and poke fun at each other at any opportunity.  They each caught decent fish on their first fish of the day, but with Mike sitting at a 54 pounder, nobody wants to keep one letting Mike get the win.

Mike was the first to keep one and it was another 50+ pounder.  Mike is now sitting back running his jaw enjoying the others try and catch up.  Mike is at over 100 pounds in his two fish kept for the weekend.

Steve is the next to cry uncle and give up after a high 30 pounder flat wore him out.  It peeled drag and made at least 4 big runs almost bring the poor guy to tear.  We got in the boat and he said, “tag it!!!”

Dale had a strategy going into this race each day.  His plan was to let the other two wear themselves out and then he’d catch fish until he got the biggest.  This didn’t work out for him yesterday.  His arms gave out before he was able to get the big one…however, today that plan proved to work.  He landed a very nice fat 66 pound female and proceeded to rub it in!!!

Fort Gibson Lake Spoonbill Paddlefish Fort Gibson Lake Spoonbill Paddlefish

I look forward to next years spoonbill paddlefish trip with these guys on Fort Gibson Lake.

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Spoonbill Paddlefish Fort Gibson Lake – 1/30/16

Spoonbill Paddlefish at Fort Gibson Lake in Oklahoma

Zach and his two kids joined us for a morning snagging spoonbill paddlefish at Fort Gibson Lake in Oklahoma.  We set out four lines and began trolling at about 8:00am.  It was a beautiful calm January morning with a very light breeze and sunny skies.  It wasn’t long and both young men were warmed up with their first spoonbill paddlefish in the boat.  Quick pictures, and back in the water to be caught another day!

Fort Gibson Lake Spoonbill Paddlefish

Next up, Zach got to show the boys how to wrestle a prehistoric spoonbill paddlefish into the boat!  After they each fought their first spoonbill paddlefish, they decided they would keep their next fish.  (They realized that reeling in one of these freshwater monsters made them use muscles they weren’t used to using, lol)

It was fun watching this crew go to battle and cheer each other on as they each reeled in, tagged, and released into the 100 gallon SeaArk Procat livewell.

Trip #2 was our good friends from Woodward, OK, Dale, Steve, and Mike.  These guys are a hoot to have on the boat and there is never a dull moment when these guys get together.  After a quick exchange of giving each other a hard time, we got the lines in the water and FISH ON in less than a minute!!!

Fort Gibson Lake Spoonbill Paddlefish

We didn’t want these guys to have time to get warmed up.  Nothing like wrestling big fish right out of the gate.  They each had a fish on in less than ten minutes….I’m not sure which one had the smallest to start with because it got put back in the water quickly…

After they each caught a couple, Mike got a 54 pounder and called it a day just daring the others to find a way to beat his as he reclined back in the chair soaking up the warm sun.

Fort Gibson Lake Spoonbill Paddlefish

Dale and Steve caught several more each wearing themselves out, but not any of them big enough to eclipse Mike’s mark for the day.

Day 1 puts Mike in the points lead.  We’ll have these guys again tomorrow to continue this race.

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Blue Catfish Oologah Lake in Oklahoma – 1/23/16

Fishing for Blue Catfish Oologah Lake in Oklahoma with Lance’s Guide Service

The blue catfish Oologah Lake bite was as light as the wind today on.  The key was finding busted up shad schools with big blue catfish feeding on the shad.  blue catfish Oologah Lake

We fished on anchor today with a gentle southern breeze with air temps below freezing most of the morning.  It wasn’t miserable enough (windy and cold) to really turn on a good bite, but we managed some good fish and plenty for them a fish fry or two. blue catfish Oologah LakeI think we had maybe 2 or 3 good solid bites all day.  The rest were just picking at it and taste testing.  We missed probably 4 to 5 times more fish than we caught.  We cleaned 15 good eating sized blue catfish and released another six trophy size.  Biggest was right at 20 pounds today.  I know we missed several really big fish today.  They take off leaving us with skin peeled off bait, but never got the hook in their mouth.  We could have gone with a stinger hook, but when we do that lots of fish end up with a hook too deep.  We decided not to risk it today to protect our fishery.

blue catfish Oologah Lake blue catfish Oologah Lake

We all had a great time today catching Oologah blue catfish and enjoying the nice weather.  The water temp is down to 37-39 degrees and shad are all over the lake.  Finding busted up bait on your sonar is the key to finding the feeding fish.  I use a Lowrance HDS 12 and Humminbird 1197 to dissect an area and anchor on the feeding blue catfish.  We throw 6 to 12 rods out depending on the situation.  Be sure to watch your line…not all the fish go away from the boat pulling the rod down.  Many blue catfish will pick the bait up and run sideways or towards the boat.  You must reel down as fast as you can on these fish or they will not get hooked.  We are using 8/0 Double Action hooks from Team Catfish.  I’ve been using these hooks for 7 years and absolutely love them.  Not a better catfish hook out there in my opinion.

For more information about our Oklahoma fishing guide service and updates, visit our website at Lance’s Guide Service and our Lance’s Guide Service Facebook Page.

Blue Catfish Oologah Lake – 1/17/16

Blue Catfish Oologah Lake

Trophy Blue Catfish hunting time on Oologah Lake in Oklahoma since our water temps are finally down and the water is getting back to normal.  Cold water and normal water levels create a perfect condition for the winter feed to pick up for blue catfish on all our area lakes in Oklahoma and region.

Oologah Lake blue catfish

It was a crisp 23 degrees when we arrived at the boat ramp this morning.  I don’t get the opportunity to fish with my dad as much was we’d like, so we treasured this time on the water together.  A great family friend, Tommy, also accompanied us in search for trophy blue catfish on Oologah Lake.

They called for a high of 27 degrees and a 10-15 mph wind with gusts to 25 mph.  It was a great day to put the top up, side curtains on, turn the heater on, and sit back and watch big blue catfish bury the rod down.

Our game plan was squashed with the cold north wind and big swells, so we had to devise a new game plan and search some new areas that we don’t normally fish.  Some of you know that I grew up  in the area, but began my career guiding and teaching in Texas before moving back home four years ago.  When we decided to move back to Oklahoma, I sat in the garage with my fish finder marking areas should produce trophy catfish at Oologah and other surrounding lakes.

We looked at the map and found a few waypoints I had marked about six years ago that looked fishable with the wind conditions we had today.  I graphed out several of the waypoint areas and finally found a ditch near deep water with broken up bait and big blue catfish in pursuit!!!

Oologah Lake blue catfish

We decided to anchor today versus dragging baits with the trolling motor.  It took two anchors and the MinnKota trolling motor to keep us anchored today.

About 5 minutes into getting the fresh cut baits in the water, we had a gentle bite on the shallow side, but he didn’t take it.  We waited another ten minutes until we got a good solid pull down and Tommy was battling the first fish of the day.  As Tommy was reeling his fish in, the rod on the opposite side of the boat went down and dad was reeling in a big fish.  I used fish grips from Team Catfish on Tommy’s fish to pull him in the boat since we could tell dad’s fish was bigger and landed easier with the net.

Oologah Lake blue catfish

Over the next couple of hours, we landed multiple double digit fish with about a dozen eating size for Tommy to have a fish fry.  We let the fish over 30″ (about 12 pounds) live another day to keep our breading fish population healthy.

Oologah Lake blue catfish

The next 10 weeks will be trophy blue catfish prime time!!!  If you’re interested in book a trip in search of big blue catfish or spoonbill paddlefish, give us a call/text at 918-607-7357, email lancesguideservice@gmail.com.

You may also visit our Facebook page at Lance’s Guide Service.

Spoonbill Paddlefish Grand Lake – 1/16/16

Spoonbill Paddlefish at Grand Lake in Oklahoma

We had a wonderful morning on Grand Lake in Oklahoma snagging spoonbill paddlefish with first time guests, Greg and Ben, from Wichita, Kansas!!!

It was cool this morning, so we put the top up and started the heater this morning as we set out on our adventure.  After a quick instructional on how to battle these prehistoric freshwater beasts, we took a short boat ride to our first area.

We used our Lowrance HDS 12 fish finder to scan a channel where spoonbill paddlefish spend much of their winter.  We marked a few, but they were too scattered.  We decided to get out the Team Catfish Extra Heavy rods and begin our long troll in the channel along its edges in search of spoonbill.  It didn’t take long to drag a few lines over a couple and “roll” them, but no hook ups.  We passed several other anglers trying their luck and skill at trolling the channel also.  However, we didn’t see anyone else catching and our Lowrance was telling us the fish were just too scattered for a truly successful day.

Now what?!?!?!  We left the area and headed to another typical area where spoonbill paddlefish spend their winters and marked a few, but they still were not grouped up.  If they aren’t grouped up fairly tight at a certain depth, it proves to be very difficult to snag them.  Much like a “needle in the haystack” situation.  Well, if they aren’t deep in the channel, look shallow…er.

Shallower meaning less than the 40-60 ft channel we were looking in.  We headed up out of the channel onto a 20-35 ft deep flat and the Lowrance started showing spoonbill paddlefish stacked in groups of 5-8 suspended just off the bottom.  It was game on!!!

We circled back to get the lines into the water and troll through the fish we had just seen.  As soon as we went over the fish…bam…the line was peeling out and we had a fish on!!!  Ben battled this prehistoric female beast to exhaustion, himself included.  It was his first spoonbill paddlefish as well as the biggest fish he’s ever caught.

Grand Lake Spoonbill Paddlefish

After some quick pictures and high fives, it was time to get the lines back out and let Greg try for his first spoonbill paddlefish.  It didn’t take long and Greg was battling a big male!  We took some pictures and relived the moment.  Moments like these with happy customers are what makes guiding the perfect job!

Grand Lake Spoonbill Paddlefish

They wanted to keep their first fish, so our spoonbill paddlefish trip was over.  Time to go blue catfishing !

A quick run to catch gizzard shad and we were off to where we marked some good groups of blue catfish earlier in the day.  Unfortunately, after scanning for what seemed like an hour, we never did find a good group of active fish.  We settled on a small school and caught a couple of blue catfish for their evening meal.

It was a great day on the water with first time guests, Greg and Ben.  We look forward to future adventures.  Thanks guys!

Tomorrow, we’ll be on Oologah chasing trophy blue catfish!!!

If you would like to experience catching a fish of a lifetime, call/text 918-607-7357.  Also check out our Facebook page at Lance’s Guide Service.

 

 

Oologah Lake Spoonbill Paddlefish – 1/10/13

Oologah Lake Spoonbill Paddlefish

At Oologah Lake catching spoonbill paddlefish with our 2015 Facebook Giveaway trip winners, the Larson’s.

It was 9 degrees as we launched the boat this morning into a steamy Oologah Lake in search of big spoonbill paddlefish.  We took the time to put the full top on the boat and hook up the heater for this trip…brrrr.

Spoonbill Paddlefish Hook Frozen

If you haven’t been winter trolling for spoonbill paddlefish before you don’t realize what you’re missing.

We are always asked, “how do we know we get a “bite”, or snag one?”  Well, its violent and exhilarating and you just know when it happens.

The fish were a little scattered and it took a few minutes to get the first one on, but when we figured out the correct speed and weight, it was fish on!  The Larson’s went home sore landing 6 or 7 and having multiple others pull off midway through battle.

Spoonbill Paddlefish Oologah Lake Spoonbill Paddlefish Oologah Lake

 

The heater and top kept us warm not to mention the blood warming battles of reeling in the spoonbill paddlefish.

Oologah does not have the monster sized spoonbill paddlefish that other area lakes have, but it does have great population of 15-40 pounders providing lots of action.

Spoonbill Paddlefish Oologah Lake

Thank you for the great day on the water and congratulations to our 2015 Facebook Giveaway winners, the Larson’s!!!

If you’d like the chance to enter one of our giveaways or contests, find us on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/LancesGuideService/

 

Oologah Lake Blue Catfish – 1/1/16

Oologah Lake Blue Catfish

Happy New Year’s from Lance’s Guide Service on Oologah Lake!!!!

Today, I met a good friend, Larry Wine, on Oologah Lake in search of blue catfish.  Really, it was a scouting trip for the two of us checking out the flooded winter pattern.

We began our day mid lake venturing south focusing on figuring out the bait locations, where the blue catfish are feeding, and how big are the schools of blue catfish.

Down south was loaded with small gizzard shad all in the upper third of the water column.  Down below were small groups of blue catfish and some other species, but after scanning for a couple hours we never found active feeding blue catfish.

Time to close the windshield and make a run up to mid-lake.  After graphing several areas and not finding bait or fish we decided to head to some flooded areas.  After another hour of graphing we finally found bait…and feeding blue catfish!!!

We threw our rods out baited with fresh cut gizzard shad and FISH ON!!!Oologah Lake blue catfish

We had multiple doubles on and had a great time!  The fish were relating to a creek channel and we marked them using side imaging.  Small groups of bait were getting busted up and you could see the blue catfish feeding on side image in 12ft of water.  The key as always, find the feeding fish!